Newspaper Page Text
Our Boys and Girls
HOW THE FLAG WAS WON. By Emily S. Windsor. "All the other villages around have a flag on the schoolhouse," said Joe Mills. "Yes, but we're always the last place to have anything," returned his companion, Will Long. The two boys were sitting on a log by the brook which threaded its way at the base of the hill, on top of which was their schoolhouse, a bare and weather-worn structure. Joe glanced up at it critically. "A flag there would show splendidly all over the country," he remarked, presently. "It's a fine place for a flag," agreed Will. "Say," exclaimed Joe, "I wonder if we can't have one?" "How?" asked Will. "Let's go and see the trustees. Perhaps they've never thought of it. Maybe they will buy a flag for us." "And maybe they won't. You know what a hard time we had getting those new black boards last year." "Will's words proved true. He and Joe visited the trustees the following day. The flag was declared to be an unnecessary expense. "I wish we could raise some money and buy a flag in spite of them," said Joe, hotly, after interviewing the last of the trustees. "We might get up a subscription from folks for it," suggested Will. "No, that wouldn't do. You know every one has given something for the courthouse bell ? and there was a lot of trouble getting that." The other boys of the school had heard of Joe's and Will's effort to induce the school trustees to buy a flag. They were much ex cited over it, and proportionally disappointed wrhen they learned of the refusal of the trus tees. The following week a new store was opened in the village. Among the various things dis played in the window were several American flags, one of which was quite large and made of bunting. Joe and Will, with several other boys, stopped to admire them one afternoon on their way home from school. "Isn't that big one fine!" exclaimed Will. "It's a beauty, and would be just the thing for our school," said Joe. "Why can't we raise the money to buy it our selves?" asked another boy. "You just tell us how to raise it and we will," said Will. But no one could tell. "I expect we must just give it up," said Joe, gloomily. As the weeks passed by the boys gradually ceased talking about a flag for the school. And then their, interest was claimed by the ap proaching baseball game in the neighboring village of Trenton. All the boys were anx ious to see the game. "But it costs a dol lar to go to Trenton and back, and then it's fifty cents to get on the ball ground," said Will. "I don't suppose any of us will get to go," said Joe. "Every one says that money is so scarce this year." It was a late and unusually rainy spring, with the result that by the last week of May all the streams about the village were over flowing their banks. One morning, when Joe and Will reached school there were but eight or ten other boys there. And Mr. Bowen, their teacher, was not there. "The water is in his house, so, of course, he won't be here," explained one of the boys. "The water is in all the houses on the lower side." "I am glad that we all live on high ground," exclaimed Will. "There'll be no school today. Let's go around and see how things look!" All the other boys followed Joe. "Let's go down to the mill," suggested Will. They found that the mill was almost sur rounded by water and the latter creeping steadily nearer. The miller, Mr. Smith, looked up at the boys' approach. "1 have all these sacks of flour! They will all be ruined. My men are busy taking care of their own places." The boys crowded up to the door and peeped in. "The flood came so unexpectedly that no one is prepared for it. It's twenty-five years since we had such high water." "Say," cried Joe, "why can't we help Mr. Smith carry it upstairs?" "Of course, we can," shouted Will. "Come on, boys." He pulled off his coat, all the others fol lowing his example. "Good!" cried the miller. He looked great ly relieved. "If you will help me we can get it up before the water reaches it."* There were several hundred sacks of flour and it was slow work getting them up the narrow, winding stairs. But the boys worked with a will. Before noon the last sack had been carried up. And it was just in time. The water had reached the door sill. "Well, the flour's safe, anyway," said Mr. Smith, rubbing his hands with satisfaction. The boys were putting on their coats pre paratorj' to going home to dinner. The unusual work had sharpened their appetities. The mil ler looked around the group. "I am very thankful to you, boys," he be gan ? "Oh, we were glad to do it," said Will. "You have saved me a heavy loss. I want to pay you in some ? " "We don't want' to be paid," was chorused. "I appreciate your feelings, boys, but all the same ? " He paused and looked at Will and Joe. "You two boys were very anxious for a flag for the school. Now, do you still want it ? or ? would you like better for me to take the whole lot of you to see the baseball match at Trenton. The cost of doing that and of the flag would be about the same. What do you say? Will you have the flag or see the game?" There was a silence. The boys looked at each other. At last Joe said : "We don't want to be paid, sir; but, of course, we would like a flag." Then Joe made a sudden dart out of the door, and, waving his cap, shouted, "Hurrah for the flag, boys." He pointed to the school house in plain view on its hilltop. Won't a flag look fine there?" The other boys joined him, followed by Mr. Smith. The latter said: "And that ball game will a fine one." This was met with another "Hurrah for the flag, boys," from Joe, all of his companions reinforcing him. "Then you prefer the flag to seeing the game?" asked the miller when he could be heard. The answer was a decided chorus of "yes." "I wanted to test your patriotism," went on Mr. Smith, smiling. "I am glad that it is stanch. I'll have the finest flag floating up there," pointing to the schoolhouse, "that I can find around here." Joe waved his cap. "Three cheers for Mr. Smith, boys." The cheers were given with vigor. "Of course," said Will, as they were on the way home, "we are sorry for the people hav ing the water, but if it were not for the flood we wouldn't have the prospect of the flag." ? Ex. YESTERDAY S TROUBLES. Teddy didn't have any heart to play that afternoon and Flossie couldn't understand why. It took a good deal of coaxing to get at the secret, but out it came at last. "Nellie was cross when we went out to walk. She yanked my arm." "But that was yesterday!" exclaimed Flos sie, opening her eyes. "I know it was yesterday. What difference does that make?" Flossie thought it had made considerable difference. "I don't ever remember crossness overnight," she explained wisely. "There are always much nicer things to remember, you know." Which of those children was the wiser, do jou think ? the boy who kept himself unhappy by the remembrance of an unkindness which was twenty-four hours old, or the girl who washed the slate clean every night, as far as her troubles were concerned, and remembered only the pleasant things? ? Our Little Ones. THE PRAISE SONG. By Elizabeth Donovan. Edward had a new top that he was showing to Howard, and Tom peeped over Roy's shoul der to see it, so none of the boys sang the opening hymn that morning at Sunday-school. When the lesson time came their teacher said : "Yesterday when I was down town, I met Tony, the little Italian boy whose father has the fruit stand. Ilis eyes were shining and he could hardly wait to tell me about Mr. Fisk, the music teacher, who gave him a little violin and is going to teach him to play. 'Wasn't he good to me?' Tony asked, and wherever he went he was telling about that kind friend, and praising him." "I'd praise that kind of friend, too," said Tom. "Are you quite sure?" asked his teacher. "Of course I am," said Tom, and the other boys nodded their heads. Then the teacher with a queer little smile went on talking. "This morning," she said, "a Friend gave you a good breakfast, a homn, loving friends, good health ? things worth more than all the violins in the world ? and yet, when we came to his house, I didn't hear one of my boys join in the song of praise and thanksgiving that the others sang. You love him just as truly as the others, I know, but today will be better and happier if we tell him so. You and I like to have our friends thank us for what we do for them, and we ought to treat the dear Lord Jesus as well as we want our friends to treat us." Then, together they softly repeated tho words of the song. And the next Sunday morn ing every boy sang so heartily that the teacher sang an extra little praise song away down in her heart. ? The Sunbeam.